Guinness Open Gate Brewery celebrates four years in business this month. Photo courtesy of Guinness.

It might be hot outside but local restaurants are not using that as an excuse to cool down in the kitchen. From restaurant week promotions to a smattering of openings, this week is an exciting one in the Baltimore culinary world.

Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Openings & announcements

After many years of planning and effort, beloved local bartender Doug Atwell has finally opened the doors of his own place. Southpaw, located at 529 S. Bond St. in Fells Point, opened to the public earlier this week.

The owners of Hampden’s Bluebird Cocktail Room have opened a new spot. Manina, which is located in Urbana, near Frederick, puts an Italian spin on American comfort food, and relies on locally-sourced ingredients and products for both its food and drinks menus.

Homestyle Indian food spot Krishna Aunty is now open in Cross Street Market.

One of Baltimore’s more storied chefs – Bernard Dehaene, former owner of Corner BYOB in Hampden – has a new home. He has quietly popped up in the kitchen at The Seasoned Mariner a waterfront fusion spot in Dundalk.

Restaurant Weeks continue

We are in the throes of Restaurant Week season. Right now, you can enjoy Baltimore Restaurant Week deals at tons of restaurants around the area, as well as special meals at Black-owned restaurants participating in Black Restaurant Week.

Bmore for Ukraine Festival

On Saturday, July 23, head to Patterson Park to participate in Charm City’s ongoing support of the Ukrainian war efforts. The Bmore for Ukraine Festival will include all sorts of fun activities, including music and Ukrainian dances, food, drinks and more. The event is organized by the Baltimore-Odesa Sister City Committee and all proceeds will benefit World Central Kitchen and United Help Ukraine.

Summer Block Party in Hamilton

Also on Saturday, Hamilton will come alive with a block party at the corner of Harford Road and Hamilton Avenue – right in the center of the neighborhood. The party, which starts at 4 p.m., features live music, vendors, food, and cocktails, beer, and wine from local favorite Silver Queen Café (which is also open for dinner during the event).

Anniversaries

This is a big week for birthday celebrations among Baltimore restaurants.

Happy first anniversary to Perennial, which opened in Towson last July 19. The Atlas Restaurant Group spot quickly became one of the hottest places to dine in Towson – and a year after opening, that allure hasn’t faded.

NiHao celebrates three years in business on July 22 with a terrific-sounding menu, including scallop toast with sesame and Shanghai smoked sea bass.

Raising a pint to Guinness

There’s one more anniversary celebration to add to this week’s list: Guinness Open Gate Brewery turns four – and it’s been a busy four years, with over a million visitors and the release of over 400 experimental Baltimore brews. The destination brewery is celebrating with two weekends (Thursday through Sunday) of fun events and releases.

Starting Thursday, July 28, Guinness will be full of fun, including live music, special food, complimentary chocolate truffles, and the release of three new experimental beers.

Ekiben activities

On Saturday night, Ekiben’s Fells Point location hosts its third installment of the late-night collaborative series, Little Jumbo. This week, the crew welcomes guest chef Paola Velez and will offer a Dominican-Asian fusion menu.

The Ekiben family has been busy lately. This week, they also announced the release of a new bottled lychee black tea, developed in collaboration with Suspended Brewing.

Crabaret returns

On Wednesday, Gertrude’s hosts the 20th annual Crabaret fundraiser, benefiting House of Ruth Maryland. The event, which is always a fun one, features live music and drinks, plus food by Gertrude’s owner and expert Chesapeake-region chef John Shields – all enjoyed in the scenic sculpture garden at the Baltimore Museum of Art. 

Hit the markets

Baltimore City’s public markets have always had a lot to offer – and now they have a little bit more. The city’s markets are adding live music to the mix at Avenue, Hollins and Broadway markets, starting this week. On Saturday afternoon, stop by Hollins Market to hear the acoustic act Soul Centered Duo, while grabbing food and enjoying the ambiance.

Sweet & cool

Towson Tavern is currently offering a complimentary scoop of Taharka Brother’s ice cream with the purchase of an entrée.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

July 30: Shuckin’ in the Streets at Lee’s Pint and Shell

Aug. 1: Lobsterama begins at Gertrude’s

Sept. 30: Passion for Food and Wine benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland

Kit Pollard

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer. She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.